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Every CT student has a right to read... 

and there’s a right way to teach them.

By 3rd grade, nearly half of CT public school students aren’t meeting grade-level expectations. Connecticut also has wide gaps in reading attainment by race, reflecting an ongoing civil rights injustice, and we face significant challenges with workforce development and college completion.

 

We know there is a right method for literacy instruction—one that’s backed up by data proving that it works—and most CT schools simply aren’t using it. The Science of Reading is supported by educational researchers as the proven, most effective way to teach literacy skills. This is defined by the following key areas of reading: phonics, phonemic awareness, vocabulary development, reading fluency including oral skills, and reading comprehension. Connecticut must act boldly to systematize its use in classrooms across the state.

 

The Data RIGHT NOW:

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Since 2014, roughly half—53%—of CT 3rd graders met or exceeded expectations in English Language Arts on the SBAC.

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In 2016, just over 41% of Connecticut high school graduates who enrolled in one of the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities needed remediation courses within the first two years.

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On the 4th grade National Assessment of Educational Progress, the gap in reading proficiency between Connecticut’s white and Black students is 35.9 percentage points. 

Why RIGHT NOW is the Time:

  • Students and families are facing the unprecedented challenge of COVID-19. 

  • Connecticut’s literacy problem is exacerbating racial and socioeconomic inequity, denying segments of society an equal academic environment to read and learn. This echoes a painful national and statewide history of deliberately denying segments of society an equal opportunity to read and learn. 

  • Connecticut needs an educated, homegrown workforce that can learn and thrive, drive the state’s economy, and end the school-to-prison pipeline and rising SPED costs

How CT Can Take Action in 2021:

Connecticut has done the important work to learn how to solve our literacy crisis. We can utilize the research-based Science of Reading and coordinate a literacy plan that will work for ALL students, in every community: 

 

  • Identify and approve reading curricula models and programs that are based on the Science of Reading.

  • Establish a Center for Literacy Research and Reading Success to: 

    • Collect information from districts on which literacy programs are being used, and review implementation of reading curricula;

    • Provide professional development and coaching

    • Advise and collaborate with educator preparation programs to train teachers in the Science of Reading;

    • Solicit and leverage philanthropic resources; and 

    • Expand the Connecticut Literacy Initiative (formerly CK3LI) for intervention in high-need districts.

  • Identify additional state dollars to support implementation and professional development.

  • Apply for federal grant dollars to support CT’s early literacy initiatives.

Recent Stories & Updates:

Reading Ready RIGHT NOW:

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